Author Topic: how to kick the dryer habit?  (Read 11244 times)

momo5

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how to kick the dryer habit?
« on: February 21, 2014, 02:35:00 PM »
we're a family of 7 and we use our clothes dryer a lot. when we had kids in diapers I used to hang dry the diapers, but I never got into the habit of doing the same with the clothing. I cant imagine having enough time/space to hang all that laundry!
I'd love some tips/advice on how to start, especially in the winter.

Elaine

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014, 02:44:11 PM »
Hey! I live in an apartment with no yard (475 sq. feet) and we line dry indoors. On the other hand it's just two of us adults and no kids so I'm sure your volume of laundry is way more. What we did was essentially set up indoor removable clothing lines in our bedroom with simple screw in hooks and rope. When not in use, we detach the rope on one side and sort of coil it around the other side (which is in the closet). So all you see is just one hook on the wall and then the other hook and rope are in the closet. We also put a drying rack in the bathtub on laundry days, and if we do big stuff like the comforter then that goes over the shower curtain area. Since you have more laundry than us you may need two or three clothing lines. My advice is to do laundry in the mornings and put your clotheslines in bedrooms. By the time you're going to bed most stuff will be dry and it's out of the way of the other living space. Good luck!

crumbcatcher

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 02:52:11 PM »
we're a family of 7 and we use our clothes dryer a lot. when we had kids in diapers I used to hang dry the diapers, but I never got into the habit of doing the same with the clothing. I cant imagine having enough time/space to hang all that laundry!
I'd love some tips/advice on how to start, especially in the winter.

I just started hang-drying, but I only have a household of two (one adult, one 10 year-old boy), so our situation is a bit different than yours.

Before trying to hang-dry, I first tried to cut down on the amount of laundry I was doing in the first place.  I don't wash towels after one use.  I don't wash sheets once a week.  I re-wear my outer clothes more than once.  My son's clothes get washed a bit more often because he's a kid and they get dirty faster, but he does have enough changes of clothes that he has some to wear while his others are drying.  With 5 kids, I imagine that staggering their laundry days might help (and would preven you from having to hang up 7 people's worth of clothes at once).

Even if you can't get away from using your dryer completely, just making a reduction can help.  Every little bit counts!  :-)


PindyStache

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2014, 03:00:49 PM »
Do a little bit of laundry every day/few days instead of saving it all for a big laundry bonanza on the weekend. Much less space needed for hang drying if done sequentially rather than in parallel.

TLV

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 03:26:33 PM »
Step 1: Don't live in/near Seattle. Dry places like Colorado make it much easier to hang dry.

Seriously. We gave up on hang drying this winter because things would still be wet after a week, and starting to smell like mildew.

When we do hang-dry in the summer, though, I have some tips:
* If you're still machine-drying some clothes (for us it's socks and underwear), separate the clothes into different loads for washing based on drying method
* If clothes are stored on hangars, let them dry on those same hangars (so you only have to hang them up once) - just not in the closet.
* Corollary to the above: store as many of your hang-dry clothes on hangars as possible.

That's all I've got.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 03:27:09 PM »
A lot of clothing dries pretty easily if it's just hung up inside. I've been smoothing and hanging cotton button-up shirts right out of the washing machine directly onto a hanger, in the winter, no direct sunlight. Not only does it dry just fine with less wear-and-tear from the dryer, there are no wrinkles either! The smaller load of socks, underwear and the occasional pair of jeans then dries much faster in the dryer. I would put the dried out button-up shirt on a hangar anyway, so it doesn't take any extra time.

It might be hard to do that with a family of 7's laundry space-wise. But try it with an article of clothing or two and work your way up.

nereo

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2014, 04:19:16 PM »
My best motivation:  Not using the dryer makes me clothes last longer.  Depending on how much you spend on your clothes to begin with, it's likely that you will save even more money from your clothes lasting longer than you will from saving electricity.  It's a double-bonus!

TrMama

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2014, 04:44:24 PM »
Step 1: Don't live in/near Seattle. Dry places like Colorado make it much easier to hang dry.

Seriously. We gave up on hang drying this winter because things would still be wet after a week, and starting to smell like mildew.

When we do hang-dry in the summer, though, I have some tips:
* If you're still machine-drying some clothes (for us it's socks and underwear), separate the clothes into different loads for washing based on drying method
* If clothes are stored on hangars, let them dry on those same hangars (so you only have to hang them up once) - just not in the closet.
* Corollary to the above: store as many of your hang-dry clothes on hangars as possible.

That's all I've got.

Yeah, this. ^^^  I just use the dryer in the winter.

In the summer I put a post it note on the dryer door. It says, "$0.74/load". I know I'm saving that much every time I skip the dryer. We have pretty low electric rates, so you may save even more.

You can also use your kids to police you. Kids love rules. Ever tried driving without your seatbelt? My kids are even starting to pester me about driving at all. I get the third degree every time I opt to drive to work.

happy

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2014, 05:16:02 PM »
I've never been to Seattle, but it sounds humid. I live in a subtropical rainforest, so I am aware of the challenges of humidity.

As far as hanging outside on the line, with a family of 7,  get your kids to help you. Hopefully the oldest can hang out washing. If not, train them up at the earliest opportunity, its not that hard.

Try to save time on the other aspects of laundry to compensate:

I second the idea of hanging shirts etc straight onto hangers.

If you fold as you take things off the line, you save on ironing. ( I often don't have time I admit).

Get your kids to put their own laundry away as soon as they are old enough. I leave mine piles on the stairs.

Iron as little as possible.

Don't forget to wash as little as possible!

Have some line space if possible undercover. But in my climate if it rains persistently it won't dry and will smell.

I find winter easy to manage as there is usually heat going.  If its raining I dry in front of the gas heater on a fold up rack.  If its not raining I hang out, but it often won't dry so I finish it off on the rack.

In summer if its raining I hang out under cover, but bring in after a day and finish off on racks inside.  If its hot and humid I might run the aircon which will help the clothes dry.

In the UK they have drying cupboards…wooden racks built in cupboards around a heat source eg around the hot water tank.



MayDay

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 06:22:22 PM »
I have two kids and we do 4-5 loads a week, plus occasional huge batches when I wash blankets/comforters/curtains/etc. 

I have a big drying rack in our bedroom that in the dry winter months, allows clothes to dry in less than 24 hours.  So I do a load a day (if I have enough for a load, I skip some days).  I save up stuff that does need to be dried in the dryer and do one dryer load a week.  Then the day after I no it, I fold it into baskets.  The baskets just sit there until they are full, the get out away into the right closet. 

I can't handle the time and space commitment to line dry more than one load a day.  No seance making myself crazy about it.  If we have a big burst of laundry due to sick kid or big cleaning spree, I dry in the dryer and feel no guilt. 

In the summer we don't use the a/c much and it is much more humid.  I can dry in the drying rack on our deck on a sunny day and it will be dry by dinner,  on rainy days I either dry indoors but it takes longer (and thus subsequent loads go in the dryer) or I just skip line drying all together.  In our f@$):;(@$) neighborhood outdoor drying lines aren't allowed, so I do what I can and don't kill myself about it.  It is a bit easier in summer at least, because the clothes are much smaller, so we fill up fewer loads!

CrochetStache

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2014, 06:44:12 PM »
Finding a drying rack or laundry line system that works for you makes a big difference. Previous posters have provided some great recommendations.

Items you still want dryer fluffed such as towels can still be dried 90% on the line and then the last bit can be thrown in a dryer for fluffing. The best of both worlds.

Even for 2 people we have a big difference in our electric bill.

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 07:03:57 PM »
If you're line- or rack-drying indoors, you can aim an oscillating fan at the clothes for a few hours.  That makes the drying go faster, and I think would use less electricity than the dryer.  I dry my stuff on two of those folding racks, and I use the fan sometimes (in the summer, it's a two-fer because it keeps the apartment cooler at the same time).

engineerjourney

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 07:49:59 PM »
Am I the only one that thought line drying was only a thing in movies shot in Europe?  No?  Just me? I seriously do not remember seeing a single clothes line growing up in California.. and the weather there would be great for it!  I hope to overcome my wariness of them soon.

Anyone have cats that attack/play with anything hanging?  Mine have put holes in the shower curtains jumping at the towels drying over the rod after being used.  Not sure how I would do indoor drying in the winter without serious damage to the clothes, closing off the drying room would prevent that but would that significantly affect the room's drying ability (air flow)? 

1967mama

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 08:00:24 PM »
What has helped us the most with our large family is NOT WASHING SO MUCH! haha! Little kids can be especially prone to changing more than once a day (in my house, at least) and then chucking those clothes in the laundry basket.

I've been teaching my kids to look over their clothes for dirty marks like spilled food etc and to fold them up and put them back in the drawer to wear tomorrow. Also, pants, hoodies, sweaters etc can be worn for several days. 

Our foremothers who had to use wringer washers would take a stiff brush to the caked mud on coveralls and they'd be worn again. Granted, we aren't living in the 1800's anymore, but surely we can wear our jeans for more than a 10 hour day ;-))
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 01:26:45 AM by 1967mama »

engineerjourney

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 08:07:45 PM »
family of 10
You must be a saint!  Let me know if you ever write a case study or start a journal so I can see how you manage!

Roses

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2014, 08:09:54 PM »
Step 1: Don't live in/near Seattle. Dry places like Colorado make it much easier to hang dry.

Seriously. We gave up on hang drying this winter because things would still be wet after a week, and starting to smell like mildew.

Funny, I live in Seattle and I have no problem hang drying my clothes.  In my basement to boot!  It does take about 24 hours but that doesn't bother me.  If I need something quicker or for really thick items like sweatshirts and jeans I often set up a portable dry rack close to a heat vent, and I might rotate that once or twice.  I've also draped items over a chair by my stove which has a pilot that keeps it and the kitchen constantly warm.

Someone once told me that rainy weather does not necessarily equal humidity in the air.  I don't really get that but to me it doesn't feel humid here at all.  Even when rain is actually coming down.  I spend all winter applying moisturizer, coconut oil, lip balm, etc, trying to combat the winter dryness.  I've lived in climates where you can't get dry after a shower no matter what.  Skin is constantly moist.  Great for skin, but yuck.  That's real humidity.

bogart

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2014, 08:50:12 PM »
Am I the only one that thought line drying was only a thing in movies shot in Europe? 

Well, my mother started line-drying (again, she certainly grew up with it) when we were kids in the '70s, and her neighbor came over and offered to let our household use the neighbor's drier until we could get ours replaced.  This being the US southeast, this was the nice way to say, "Please don't hang your clothes out!"  But my mother persisted.

I've pretty much always used a line or a rack, and I've lived in the US my entire life (we do own a clothes drier, I'm not a purist).  But I'm no help on the cats, never had that problem.  There are ceiling-mounted systems that slide up and down with pulleys (you can google "ceiling-mounted drying rack") that might work, if you have a place to hang one, and I'd guess they'd be pretty easily duplicated, if you're a DIYer.

Rural

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2014, 04:16:38 AM »

Anyone have cats that attack/play with anything hanging?  Mine have put holes in the shower curtains jumping at the towels drying over the rod after being used.  Not sure how I would do indoor drying in the winter without serious damage to the clothes, closing off the drying room would prevent that but would that significantly affect the room's drying ability (air flow)?

For various cat interferences in our house without central heat and air (ie: we don't need to cut off the airflow long term), I use baby gates. Depends on your cats and the width of your doorways, but some cats won't jump a baby gate used normally. If yours will (I have one of those), then many doors are narrow enough you can turn the baby gate on its side so that it's too tall to jump. Baby gates turn up pretty frequently at thrift stores, and that's where I got my first one. I needed a second in a hurry and so I discovered they run about twenty bucks new (you don't need the fancy kind for cats).

engineerjourney

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2014, 09:19:11 AM »
Well, my mother started line-drying (again, she certainly grew up with it) when we were kids in the '70s, and her neighbor came over and offered to let our household use the neighbor's drier until we could get ours replaced.  This being the US southeast, this was the nice way to say, "Please don't hang your clothes out!"  But my mother persisted.
I bet the 'stigma' was the reason I never saw it growing up... I bet there was even HOA rules against it! 

For various cat interferences in our house without central heat and air (ie: we don't need to cut off the airflow long term), I use baby gates. Depends on your cats and the width of your doorways, but some cats won't jump a baby gate used normally. If yours will (I have one of those), then many doors are narrow enough you can turn the baby gate on its side so that it's too tall to jump. Baby gates turn up pretty frequently at thrift stores, and that's where I got my first one. I needed a second in a hurry and so I discovered they run about twenty bucks new (you don't need the fancy kind for cats).
Interesting idea, I have one crazy jungle cat that climbs everything (as in he gets on the top of the door frames, has jumped on top of the flat screen tv mounted on the wall, etc) so I would have to figure out a way that he could climb the baby gate but still not have access... I will think about it.  Thanks! 

I am not sure my DH will be on board since we only do like 2-3 loads every two weeks in the winter and way way less in the summer but he at least knew the clothes lines were actually used so maybe he grew up with it.  I will have to ask!

Sorry for the de-rail to cats and laundry OP!

Greg

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2014, 10:00:22 AM »
This is one way a front-load, high-spin-speed washer helps a great deal.  After a high-speed spin, clothes are ready to line-dry and do so quickly.  It makes a big difference.

lakemom

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2014, 10:45:08 AM »
As a Mom of 6 I KNOW how much laundry you do.  My advice is to start "small" as in pick one or two things to 'always' dry on the line (indoor or outdoor) for me it was towels and jeans/shorts.  Then add in something else, then something else.  If you start small and develop a routine (because there is no way a once a week laundry day will enable you to line dry everything except on the hottest, driest summer days) than you stick with it better.  We are down to just 2 kids left at home and I hardly dried anything on the line last year and my utility bills show it!  This year, as soon as it turns warm enough its going to be back to the line for me. 

Beaker

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2014, 11:12:12 AM »
We're lucky enough to have a separate laundry room. We got an expandable shower bar and put it up right next to the washer, so it's really easy to pull things straight out of the washer and hang them up to dry. If you've got a space conducive to that I recommend it. Otherwise maybe try hanging in a shower, or getting one of those rolling racks.

We also have a really nice, collapsible drying rack for non-hangables. I just spent a while search and can't find anything equivalent, which is a shame because it's far better than all the ones that seem to be for sale. I'll try to take a photo later, it's a little hard to describe.

Cassie

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2014, 11:28:30 AM »
When I lived in the midwest and was in grad school I hung the clothes to dry and after awhile mildew started to grow on the walls. I would not do it unless you live in a dry climate.

happy

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2014, 04:51:33 PM »
Some cats will definitely go for laundry. I lived in a group house that had fabulous built in drying racks in the laundry. Worked brilliantly until someone got a crazy cat who would pull it all down. On the other hand my mothers succession of cats have never ever gone for hanging laundry either inside or outside.

Lakemoms idea of hanging towels/jeans is clever: these are the heaviest, and take the longest to dry. So use more power in the dryer. So if you were only hanging some, these would be the most cost effective.

Also if you do have to use the dryer I'm told its better to run it longer on a cooler cycle - most of the energy used creates the heat..the energy to tumble is less.

Unique User

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2014, 04:58:13 PM »
We set up a system with closet rods on our porch when we lived in the Southeast.  I have a pole in my laundry room and a pole in my garage now that I live in the cold Midwest in a community where outside drying is not allowed.  I second hanging things on hangers and running towels through the dryer for a few minutes to fluff, hate scratchy towels.  One thing I found incredibly helpful was using pants hangers for towels, socks, etc.  I just went to the mall one day and asked at a couple of the counters for pants hangers.  Got all I needed for zero, still using them today.  It's just getting into the habit of doing it, I cringe to use my dryer now!

momo5

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2014, 05:46:10 PM »
thanks, lots of good ideas there!
I'm in NY so its very humid here in the summer and it can be rainy too (probably not as bad as seattle though).
I think I'm going to start with reducing the laundry, I've already stopped weekly linen changes (the sheets last longer that way too) and everyone's got their own bath and face towels which get washed only once weekly as is. but I just *know* that my teen dd's idea of cleaning up her room is to dump any clothes on the floor into the hamper, and my little one likes multiple pj changes, she can go through three pairs a day and tosses each into the hamper. between those two I can probably cut one load out per week. my other kids get pretty dirty, but I think I will start hanging the boys pants to dry in their bedrooms and see how it goes. those pants take up  alot of space in the dryer.

Unique User

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2014, 06:53:48 PM »
Forgot to add that I will hang clothes on hangers and put them on shower rods in the bathrooms if I need more room. 

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2014, 08:05:43 PM »
I know this won't be particularly helpful, but I only have a washer (no dryer), so that's how I manage to not use a dryer.  ;-)  Plus I live alone, so I don't have clothes for 7 to manage.  But I do exercise a lot, and have to manage clothes in various stages from clean-->just worn a couple of times-->kind of bad-->really need to be washed.  I usually have all kinds of clothes hanging up in my bathroom. If I have sweat-drenched clothes (that need washing), instead of tossing them in a basket where they might "ferment" for several days, I hang them up to dry first.

I have a small house, so sometimes (in the winter months), I have to get inventive about where to hang things.

happy

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2014, 05:20:42 AM »
Quote
think I'm going to start with reducing the laundry, I've already stopped weekly linen changes (the sheets last longer that way too) and everyone's got their own bath and face towels which get washed only once weekly as is. but I just *know* that my teen dd's idea of cleaning up her room is to dump any clothes on the floor into the hamper, and my little one likes multiple pj changes, she can go through three pairs a day and tosses each into the hamper.

Theres another post around somewhere about how often people wash things. I have a cycle: towels/bathroom stuff is washed once a fortnight. Girls sheets once every 4 weeks, hormonal teenage boys sheets fortnightly. I basically wash one set of towels and 1 set o sheets per week. This works for us - things are just starting to feel/smell/look like they need a wash…then its time, but I can imagine some people could legitimately go longer or shorter.

Problem with kids is that it seems easier just to grab it all and wash it….but overall I think its worth the effort to train them, and double check your self, and wash less. Yeah and I've caught mine dumping their clean piles of clothes on the floor…then 2 days later "cleaning up" and putting them back to be washed unworn. Grrr.

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2014, 08:13:52 AM »
I've been line drying since October. Not sure yet how our hot, humid summers will affect it, but my next door neighbor line dried all last summer outdoors.

I have 5 kids. Here's what I do to keep it simple:

I sort laundry into two groups: warm (exercise clothes, underwear + socks except wool or bras), and cold (everything else). As soon as I have enough in a pile to do a load, I do it. That means I do a load or two 4-5 days a week, but then I don't have a huge mass of clothes line drying at once.

Previous owner strung a bunch of lines in the basement next to laundry area. I use those but if I was installing something myself, I'd choose a rigid thing like electrical conduit. I hate the way lines sag. Everything that can get hung, gets hung. This includes boxers and towels/cleaning rags. For small stuff like socks and underwear I made a "rack" by putting a broken window screen suspended on egg cartons on top of a folding table. Works great.

I put a box fan tilted at about a 45 degree angle at one end and run it, pushing the air towards the furnace. Furnace fan runs all the time to circulate humidity. The fan part isn't strictly necessary, but it cuts drying time in half. Most of our clothes are dry in 12-24 hours. Jeans take 2 days solid.

As others noted, not only do you save on the cost of running the dryer, but clothes will last (on average) 200 wash cycles instead of only 100. Also, since all of my dress clothes are wrinkle free, they line dry perfectly - they actually look BETTER than using a standard dryer. If you need your stuff to look totally crisp/pressed, you'll still be using an iron, but they meet my standards.

It takes extra time at first, but I find the 5-10 minute breaks it builds into the day between homeschool lessons and other stuff is actually kind of nice. Gets me out of the desk chair and moving.

Roses

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2014, 05:12:17 PM »
Re humidity:  Very few people in 3rd world countries own dryers, thus line drying is the norm.  Many of those are very humid areas.  Doesn't seem to be a problem.

Re cats:  Mine was intrigued the first couple times I did it.  But after a few times it became the norm and so she ignored it.  She does occasionally try to swat at things that are long and thin like the belt from a bathrobe or a scarf so I make sure to loop those around and not let them dangle - but I almost never have those items in my wash anyway.

MayDay

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2014, 05:58:57 PM »
What has helped us the most with our family of 10 is NOT WASHING SO MUCH! haha! Little kids can be especially prone to changing more than once a day (in my house, at least) and then chucking those clothes in the laundry basket.

I've been teaching my kids to look over their clothes for dirty marks like spilled food etc and to fold them up and put them back in the drawer to wear tomorrow. Also, pants, hoodies, sweaters etc can be worn for several days. 

Our foremothers who had to use wringer washers would take a stiff brush to the caked mud on coveralls and they'd be worn again. Granted, we aren't living in the 1800's anymore, but surely we can wear our jeans for more than a 10 hour day ;-))

I mink my kids must just be slobs,  wonder where they got it from?   They can not make it through a day without spilling food in themselves and getting art supplies on themselves.  Then add in outdoor play in the spring, and they will be mud caked by 9am.  They don't change clothes for fun, they just get so dirty!  I can't wait until they are old enough to remember to lean over the table when they eat. 


TLV

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2014, 12:43:24 PM »
Step 1: Don't live in/near Seattle. Dry places like Colorado make it much easier to hang dry.

Seriously. We gave up on hang drying this winter because things would still be wet after a week, and starting to smell like mildew.

Funny, I live in Seattle and I have no problem hang drying my clothes.  In my basement to boot!  It does take about 24 hours but that doesn't bother me.  If I need something quicker or for really thick items like sweatshirts and jeans I often set up a portable dry rack close to a heat vent, and I might rotate that once or twice.  I've also draped items over a chair by my stove which has a pilot that keeps it and the kitchen constantly warm.

Someone once told me that rainy weather does not necessarily equal humidity in the air.  I don't really get that but to me it doesn't feel humid here at all.  Even when rain is actually coming down.  I spend all winter applying moisturizer, coconut oil, lip balm, etc, trying to combat the winter dryness.  I've lived in climates where you can't get dry after a shower no matter what.  Skin is constantly moist.  Great for skin, but yuck.  That's real humidity.

I agree it's not (just) the humidity because it's not that humid. The lack of sun and cold temperatures are more at fault. Our house is pretty awful for sun exposure, the room we usually hang-dry in is unheated, and we keep the thermostat for the rest of the house in the low 60s. If we have to choose between running the dryer and running the furnace to dry our clothes, I expect the dryer wins.

I'm sure there are other things that could be done to make hang-drying work in the winter for us, but we haven't found them yet. I wasn't exaggerating when I said everything was still damp after a week.

Greg

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2014, 01:33:01 PM »
I agree it's not (just) the humidity because it's not that humid. The lack of sun and cold temperatures are more at fault. Our house is pretty awful for sun exposure, the room we usually hang-dry in is unheated, and we keep the thermostat for the rest of the house in the low 60s. If we have to choose between running the dryer and running the furnace to dry our clothes, I expect the dryer wins.
I'm sure there are other things that could be done to make hang-drying work in the winter for us, but we haven't found them yet. I wasn't exaggerating when I said everything was still damp after a week.

Hanging clothes to dry in an unheated space just won't work in the PNW.  A basement passively heated by the furnace would work, or an often unused room upstairs.  A ceiling fan helps, airflow helps more than heat.

TrMama

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2014, 02:41:14 PM »
Step 1: Don't live in/near Seattle. Dry places like Colorado make it much easier to hang dry.

Seriously. We gave up on hang drying this winter because things would still be wet after a week, and starting to smell like mildew.

Funny, I live in Seattle and I have no problem hang drying my clothes.  In my basement to boot!  It does take about 24 hours but that doesn't bother me.  If I need something quicker or for really thick items like sweatshirts and jeans I often set up a portable dry rack close to a heat vent, and I might rotate that once or twice.  I've also draped items over a chair by my stove which has a pilot that keeps it and the kitchen constantly warm.

Someone once told me that rainy weather does not necessarily equal humidity in the air.  I don't really get that but to me it doesn't feel humid here at all.  Even when rain is actually coming down.  I spend all winter applying moisturizer, coconut oil, lip balm, etc, trying to combat the winter dryness.  I've lived in climates where you can't get dry after a shower no matter what.  Skin is constantly moist.  Great for skin, but yuck.  That's real humidity.

I agree it's not (just) the humidity because it's not that humid. The lack of sun and cold temperatures are more at fault. Our house is pretty awful for sun exposure, the room we usually hang-dry in is unheated, and we keep the thermostat for the rest of the house in the low 60s. If we have to choose between running the dryer and running the furnace to dry our clothes, I expect the dryer wins.

I'm sure there are other things that could be done to make hang-drying work in the winter for us, but we haven't found them yet. I wasn't exaggerating when I said everything was still damp after a week.

TLV and I must live in similar homes. I could hang dry our clothes inside, if I turned up the heat, but that would actually consume more power than using the dryer. We have electric baseboard heat. Also, we already have condensation build up on the windows. When it's near freezing outside I have to run a dehumidifier in the house just to keep the windows from getting moldy. Or again, I could turn up the heat to the tune of an extra $100/month. I don't need any extra humidity in the house from wet clothes.

For the OP - Try putting your teen DD in charge of her own laundry. I find my kids are more conscious of not rewashing clean clothes, or making a mess when they know they'll have to clean it up. Yesterday I handed my 7yo DD a basket of her clean, unfolded clothes and told her she's now in charge of folding and putting everything away.

Roses

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2014, 12:01:28 AM »
So why don't you just get a portable line drying rack and set it up wherever it is warm, whenever you're around?  Say in the kitchen or in your living room when you're using it and heating it?  Somewhere in your house must be at room temp sometimes.  My basement is freezing BTW.  Sometimes I think the clothes are wet but when I bring them up to normal room temp upstairs I realize they were just very cold but not actually wet.

TLV

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Re: how to kick the dryer habit?
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2014, 12:21:10 PM »
So why don't you just get a portable line drying rack and set it up wherever it is warm, whenever you're around?  Say in the kitchen or in your living room when you're using it and heating it?  Somewhere in your house must be at room temp sometimes. 

We have "portable" line drying racks that we use for line drying. They are very portable when they're folded up and don't have any clothes on them. Not so much when loaded down with wet clothes, especially when caring for a toddler and infant. And if we're in a room and using it, there's typically not room to have a drying rack in there as well without it getting in the way. ("Room temperature" is also debatable. Our heated room temperature in winter isn't warm enough to soften butter, for example.)

I appreciate the suggestions, but the ROI of line-drying is low enough that at this point it would take a game-changer instead of a tweak for us to do it during winter.

One possible game changer may be a spin dryer. We ordered one last week after getting frustrated that even the regular dryer was often taking multiple cycles to dry the clothes, and it just arrived a couple days ago. So far the spin dryer will typically take out about 5 cups of water from a single batch of laundry (washer-sized batch, which is ~4 loads in the spin dryer). So it may be that the problem with line drying was in our washer's weak spin cycle all along. I'll try line drying another load this weekend to see how much it cuts down the time.